Senators to debate kids’ safety bills

Two bills that would revamp how tech companies cater to and obtain data from young users will be in the spotlight Wednesday as a Senate panel debates how to update laws designed before the rise of social media.


The markup has been long awaited by critics who say the existing regulations are no longer adequate for a generation raised on the internet. Support for the issue has snowballed since a Facebook whistleblower leaked bombshell internal documents last year.

  • The Senate Commerce Committee is slated to discuss two bipartisan pieces of legislation that, taken together, would provide stricter regulations for how online platforms operate for children and teens. In part, the proposals would bring the U.S. closer to the standards put in place by other countries.
  • “We have been saying for a while now that children need both better privacy protections, including privacy protections for teens for the first time, and they need to be protected against manipulative and harmful design that keeps them online too long and exposes them to harmful content. So these bills really work well together,” said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a group that advocates for children’s and teen’s online safety.

The bills before the committee are the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, also known as COPPA 2.0, and the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA).